In Memoriam: Yoram Barzel

Submitted by Madison Girard on
Yoram Barzel in 2014

The Department of Economics mourns the loss of Professor Emeritus Yoram Barzel (1931-2022), who served as a member of our faculty from 1961 to 2014.  

Yoram’s interest in economics sparked as a young adult growing up in Israel. After earning his BA (1953) and MA (1956) in Economics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he moved to the United States to begin his PhD at University of Chicago. He wrote his dissertation under the supervision of Arnold Harberger and graduated in 1961.  

What would become a distinguished 53-year career at University of Washington began promptly after his PhD graduation, when he was hired by the UW Department of Economics as an assistant professor to teach microeconomics and econometrics. He became a full professor in 1970. During his time at UW, he published numerous influential works, including four books. Yoram’s areas of interest included estimation of cost and production functions, property rights and transaction costs, and political economy. After his retirement, he was awarded the 2017 Elinor Ostrom Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. This prestigious award is given to a member of the field who has made significant academic contributions. 

Yoram had a profound impact on the faculty, staff, and students in our department. Professor Fahad Khalil shared that “Yoram was a dear mentor and has had one of the strongest influences on me as an economist.  As is true for many, I learned deeply from his insightful questions over the years.  A towering figure, he will remain a source of inspiration – a man consumed by curiosity and an everlasting passion for economics.” Our department community sends our deepest condolences to Yoram’s loved ones during this time, and will continue to honor his legacy through excellence in teaching and research. 

For those who would like to include a message or photo on Yoram's remembrance page, please visit this link. If you prefer, there is also the Guestbook for Yoram's Seattle Times obituary, guestbook for Yoram's Seattle Times obituary.


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